A renowned constitutional lawyer has backed the decision by Karonga central legislator Frank Tumpale Mwenifumbo to accept the offer by United Democratic Front (UDF) torchbearer Atupele Muluzi to be his running mate.
Edge Kanyongolo, a constitutional expert at Chancellor College of the University of Malawi (Unima) in Zomba said Mwenifumbo has acted within the law by accepting the offer of running mate.
“In fact, we have precedents. The courts ruled in 1999 that there was nothing wrong for Chakufwa Chihana of Aford to be running mate to Gwanda Chakuamba who was contesting on MCP ticket,” said Kanyongolo.
Kanyongolo’s comments come after the Alliance for Democracy (Aford) executive committee agreed that Mwenifumbo should stop using party colours and party slogans, claiming he has defected to UDF.
Aford spokesperson Khumbo Mwaungulu confirmed that the national executive committee met and passed the resolution.
He said Aford is in alliance with the UTM Party of State Vice President Saulos Chilima.
But Mwenifumbo said he briefed Aford president Enock Chihana on the decision by Muluzi to pick him as running mate. . Chihana has aligned his Aford faction with Chilima while Mwenifumbo has partnered Muluzi.
“My president agreed, this is why I agreed to be the running mate,” he said.
Mwenifumbo maintained he is Aford and will remain Aford.
A political analyst from Unima, Ernest Thindwa said even though democracy provides for political freedom, to have two warring Aford leaders—Mwenifumbo and party president Enock Chihana—working with different political parties was a joke.
In his address after presenting nomination papers, Muluzi justified his working with DPP as promoting national good regardless of political, religious or tribal differences.
He said: “Working inside the incumbent government has equipped me with the capacity to observe and handle critical issues affecting us. Hence, the UDF is geared towards providing tangible and fruitful panacea to critical shortcomings.”
In the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections, Muluzi finished fourth with 717 224 votes. Peter Mutharika, who paired with Chilima as his running mate, triumphed with 1 904 399 votes while second-placed Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party had 1 455 880. Then incumbent president Joyce Banda of People’s Party, who had ascended to the presidency in line with constitutional order after the death of Bingu wa Mutharika in 2012, finished third with 1 056 236 votesFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :